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The Madras Affair Kindle Edition
|Length: 288 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
But there is more to the story. When I read the book in it beta it moved me and to say the end product gleams like the glittering Diamond Rose Sangita receives is true for the book too! To address issues that affect women and to present the ‘happy ending’ as well has been dealt expertly. Society changes if we change and The Madras Affair shows how!
This book takes a look into the unfair and malicious society that preys on simple, young women and then blames them too. Forced marriages, strict control and abuse are pretty common in our societies but not many women get a chance to break free. Gautam tries his best that Sangita soars and how!! We see women like Sangita but here the author has written a story that I feel delves into the heart of the matter. Most of the times these women do not know any different; that a better world, a happier world that awaits them if only they embrace it.
Looking for the silver lining, the light at the end of the tunnel of despair; The Madras Affair is one such story, Sangita is married at 19 and then a widow soon she knew little of happiness and love in her life. Sundari has written Sangita with a lot of thought, she represent the scores of young women who bow to their parents and husbands wishes, living their life as dictated by them. Life never offers a second chance to them but here Sangita gets another chance only she is so surprised and hesitant to take it that I wanted to push her towards Gautam at times! Ah! The girl!!
He is a gentleman and kind, thoughtful, charming and wants to love her, is besotted by her. Did I tell you he has intense, intoxicating blue eyes & a dimple? The guy is hot! Gautam Sinclair is a man who knows his mind and the moment he laid his eyes on Sangita, he knew he had found someone special. This is book is a statement that romance can be sensual and substantial. Not just fluff, misunderstandings and compromises but the epitome of true love.
To stand by your decision when everyone around you is against it and many are trying to sabotage the little chance at happiness you have requires a lot of confidence and faith for both partners. This story too had roadblocks at each turn but the help of supportive Rekha and Raghu made the path straightforward. The Sinclair family with their love and support add to the story.
The book has Giridhar, Radha and her vile tongue & Gopal; along with the slimy Rakesh to make her life hell. This book also has Sandeep; the cute little bundle of joy for Sangita and does he have a lot to say. The little boy & Gautam’s grandparents all do their bit to unite the two lovers. I enjoyed reading about the secondary characters as they play an important role and are well written. Ritikha, with her bindass attitude is my favourite.
Also I think Sid needs his story; I hope you are already writing one for him Sundari! Sid, who? Well you have to read the book for that!!
The language, story flow flawlessly, the flashback and the present are balanced and give a clear picture of the hesitation and hurt faced in the book. The words are well chosen and the occasional use of regional words add to the charm of the book.
Great chemistry, sizzling sensuality, endearing emotions, lots of reality and familial love all come together to form a dynamite mix for an absorbing read. Now it’s your turn, pick a copy today and experience love that celebrates the loved one!
(Thank you for the acknowledgement Sundari, it was easy to beta read this well crafted book. The review are my own thoughts)
Sangita is a character who I wish reflected more women in our society. She is strong and even idealistic to a point. She knows what is right and doesn’t hesitate to fight for it no matter how great the opposition is. Gautam on the other hand feels like what an ‘ideal’ man should be like. Unfortunately they mostly seem to reside in the fictional world and very few can be spotted in the real life. He is caring and very supportive. He knows how to respect women and it doesn’t hurt that he is good looking too.
One thing that I strongly feel is that those days are gone when a person (whether a man or a woman, but especially woman) ‘needed’ another person to ‘complete’ them. With more and more women coming out of their shells and the restrictive boundaries of the society, they hardly need a man to ‘earn’ their living or change the bulb. Yet it is also undeniable that a supportive partner makes things easier for everyone. That is where this book won me over. Yes, Gautam played a big part in how Sangita fought for what she wanted and he supported her all the way through. But the way the author has built up Sangita’s character, I would like to believe that even without Gautam she would have been okay. She had insecurities and yet she always got things done when needed. Sangita and Gautam were partners in true sense as they counted each other as equals. Also, while to most people this book will appeal as a romance novel, the author has done an admirable job of depicting the social evils that hold back people. Society’s conventional view of what a woman should be like actually restricts our growth and progress. And whether we realize it or not we all fall back to encouraging it further. We need more people like Sangita and Gautam in our society. Then there is Sandeep whose innocence will melt your heart at times. The bond between mother and son is so pure.
The plot is well plotted and executed. It is kind of predictable yet that doesn’t take away from the reading experience. The author’s language narration style is engaging. The best part was perhaps the flawed characters and real emotions that the author has portrayed without over dramatizing or toning it down.
She is Sangita. Introduced to us as the head of an NGO for downtrodden and homeless women. But not many eons ago, Sangita was one of them. Ah well, not homeless but a woman doesn't need the deprivation of a 'house' to feel homeless, now does she? An abusive husband is a gift enough to make one feel so.
Sangita's first marriage is introduced to us as abusive and violent. Marital rape is such a hushed up subject, both in India and on the western shores. Ms. Venkatraman has not glorified it nor has she made it the core subject of this novel. But the anger is equally potent and can be felt only by a woman after reading the story. The most criminal part in this whole story is when a woman is told time and again,
"A woman's place is with her husband, Sangita. She has no respect if she stays away from him."
I only have one word for this - Bull!
What many don't realize is that an abusive person wants only one thing...
"They were unable to understand that Giridhar was doing his best to break down her will ..."
That sums up Sangita's circumstances.
Lady with dignity..
But Sangita is not shown as a downtrodden woman in any frame of the story. I would call her a subdued fighter. When she first hears about her husband's demise, I loved the lack of pretence in her.
"I feel as if an extremely vicious curse has been lifted off me.” She gave her sister-in-law a small, nervous smile.
Frankly speaking, if she had mourned the death of her husband, I would have shut down the book. So kudos to Ms. Venkataman for being very honest with the emotions here. Time to be a angel is over. :D
It is sad when a woman and an innocent child are blamed for the death of man who was riding a bike after consuming alcohol. But I suppose, the way of society is still in its infancy stage and reasoning is yet to be a developed 'organ' in a human body.
And in the midst of all her troubles, she meets Gautam....
He is Gautam Sinclair. Ms.Venkatraman's blue eyed boy. A man who comes with his own set of weaknesses and strengths. A man who comes across as a normal human. Leaving his American way of life behind, he settles down in India to teach. When he meets Sangita for the first time, he is bowled over by her simplicity and beauty. But with the constant fear Sangita had with regard to her parents, she is unable to accept his love. From the time he met her, he understood her. Like two soulmates meeting after a long time.
The Story ..
When Gautam meets Sangita, she is a widow with a young child. Moreover the society she lives in does not encourage widow remarriage. Gautam has lived in the USA all his life and all the taboos of the society are beyond his understanding.
Sangita on the other hand cannot break the chains of tradition yet the attraction she feels for Gautam slowly consumes her. But her earlier marriage has left her with many scars. Will she be carrying all her scars into this new relationship? Will Gautam be able to accept Sangita with all her baggage?
The Love Story ... Read on rubinaramesh.com/2015/09/the-madras-affair-by-sundari-venkatraman.html
The story started with a glimpse of the present, where everything seemed so positive but with foreshadowing hints that I just knew something big had to be amiss. Sure enough, the next chapter was like a slap in the face.
I suffered alongside Sangita, and I could associate with her plight because the situation here in Sri Lanka is similar to the one in India, though not as severe and tragic. From that chapter on, the author had me hook, line, and sinker. She whisked me away in a maelstrom of emotions, portraying a deeply hurt heroine who had been pressed into a mould and made to obey, and felt like a caged bird to me. But she wasn’t as weak as she could have been, as the encounter with Gautam proved soon enough. And suddenly I had a different image while reading about her dilemma: a raw gem plucked from the depths of mud, with just a bit of sparkle to entice. The more I read about her – and the more she got involved with Gautam and his cajoling and admiration – the more of the gem shone through the rough shell, as if someone were polishing the stone. And once enough colours had broken through, Sangita bedazzled like the most beautiful of gemstones, showing her hidden strength, her awakened passion, and her potential.
Most of it was thanks to wonderful Gautam, a hero I have been dreaming about since. It wasn’t just his mix of India and America that is perfect, but also the way he never gives up. I loved the way he wooed Sangita, and the way he shaped her present and their future throughout the book. He too underwent a change, though much more subtle than Sangita’s immense transformation. I loved and hated the other characters with a passion.
As a beta reader, I look for inconsistencies in the plot, for superfluous scenes and for abrupt developments. I found none in this book. The flashbacks were neither too many nor too few and inserted in the right places.
I can highly recommend this novel to all those who love heroines that are anything but ordinary and refuse to be trampled upon. And to all who love reading about hunky heroes that are not ashamed to show emotions and know how to fight for what they want and what is right. The story is full of sizzle, thrill and insights into the human mind and heart. It’s thought-provoking, sensual and alive not just with the many authentic characters but also with the exotic setting of Madras, which the author clearly seems to love.
Gautam falls head over heels in love with Sangita when he first meets her in the hospital. Sangita has her own baggage which she has to get rid of to accept Gautam into her life. Shackled by parents who believe in typical orthodox and out dated customs, Sangita finds it extremely difficult to move on from her tormenting past.
The writer Sundari, got all tiny details about my city and its culture totally right and I’m eternally grateful to her for not stereotyping Madras as a city which still lives in the past. She has beautifully shown the progressive mind set of the people on sensitive issues like marital rape and widow re-marriage. While one set of characters don’t even acknowledge marital rape as buse, the other set – mainly the protagonist Gautam, is so progressive and supportive of Sangita’s predicament. The way that the writer, Sundari has woven such high octane topics into a romantic story is simply brilliant. The romance between Gautam and Sangita is frustratingly slow, but that has its own charm and I felt it was very apt for this book. Needless to say, the writing was perfect and the characterization was bang on making the book a very pleasurable read. I drooled over Gautam and had to keep reminding myself that he is after all a fictional character. One more thing that the writer seems to have nailed are the emotions. Every character, be is the protagonists or the secondary characters, emoted so perfectly that I could actually emote with them.
The cover deserves a special mention. Beautiful job with that!
PLOT : 8/10
BOREDOM QUOTIENT: 1/10 (Lower the better)
OVERALL RATING: 9/10
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